Old Grill

The brick BBQ grill in Fairfield's Legion Park is slated for removal.

Fairfield Sun Times photo by Darryl L. Flowers

After approving the minutes of the April regular meeting of the town council and a special meeting held that month, the council approved the hiring of the swimming pool staff and lifeguards for the 2019 pool season.

Hired for the season are:

Pool Manager Amanda Brown and Assistant Manager Alysa Brown

Returning Lifeguards Paris Becker, Kaylee Christensen, Alexis McWilliams, Hanna Peterman and Kenna Pitcher.

New Lifeguards are Quin Christensen, Olivia Copenhaver, Kyler Bake, Natalie Kolste, Avery Pitcher and Tyson Schenk.

The plan is to open the pool on June 3rd.

Next, Mayor Schwartz told the council that no bids were received for the Freightliner dump truck. The mayor suggested that the town put the truck on an online auction site. Representatives from the site, Iron Plant, had visited Fairfield and examined the truck. According to the mayor, the representatives had expressed the opinion that the dump truck would be of interest to bidders on the site.

The council next approved a pay raise for town clerk and treasurer Tammy Comer. Tammy just received her certificate upon completion of the training program conducted by the Montana Municipal Institute by the Montana Sate University Local Government Center. Council President Loren Tacke congratulated Tammy and said, “This is a four-year class and Tammy did it in two-and-a-half years.”

Next on the agenda was an increase in health benefits for town employees of $44.00 per month. The increase was approved.

The matter of trees and shrubs blocking views at intersections was next on the agenda. The council has had complaints about the trees at the intersection of Highway 89 and County Line Road and bushes located at the intersection of Highway 408 and South Division.

Town clerk Tammy Comer said that the town had been in touch with the family that planted the pine trees at the intersection of Hwy. 89 and County Line Rd, and that the family was looking into having the trees moved.

Fairfield residents Bill and Mary Coe were at the meeting to comment about removing the trees. Bill Coe told the council that the Highway 89 intersection was “not as bad as you say it is,” and he showed the council photographs taken at the intersection. “You can see 1,100 feet to the end of the grain bins,” Coe told the council as they examined the photos.

Councilman Tacke suggested that a letter be sent by the town to the owner of the property at Hwy. 408 and South Division, asking that the bushes be trimmed or removed. The matter was tabled until the June meeting.

The next item was on the matter of ordnance violations. Ben Rhodes had inquired with the town office regarding a piece of property in town he wanted to purchase with the intent of renting a couple of spaces to long-term recreational vehicles.

This use is consistent with the use of the property, dating back to the 1970s, when campers used by Air Force crews working on missile installations in the area were parked on the property.

Mayor Schwartz, after an initial reading of the town ordnance and zoning, advised Rhodes that the land could be used by RVs. However, upon further reading, the mayor discovered that while the property could be used as rental spaces for mobile homes, recreational vehicles could not be placed there. By the time the mayor had the complete information, Rhodes had made a nonrefundable down payment on the property.

Rhodes asked the town for a variance.

Since the matter was not an action item on the May meeting agenda, it was tabled until the June meeting.

The next matter on the agenda was the operation of a “mechanic” business in a residential-zoned area of the town. The operator of the business, according to the mayor, is seeking another location.

Town works employee Nick Dale delivered his report, telling the council that he and Chuck Dale had been working on getting the town swimming pool ready. Nick reported to the council that the pool diving board was “in bad shape” and should be taken out of service. Nick next told the council that some of the toys in the park were in an unsafe condition, with exposed sharp metal edges that posed a risk to anyone using them. The mayor and council advised Nick to “get rid” of the broken toys and diving board.

The council is looking into replacing the diving board with a coveredwater slide.

Next, it was brought up that the outdoor grill in Legion Park was in poor condition and that there was an unused water pipe sticking out of the ground near the grill. The mayor and council instructed Nick to remove those as well.

The council next discussed a “curb stop” fee of $25.00 to cut water service off and on for residents who go out of town for extended periods of time. No action was taken on this matter.

Town clerk and treasurer Tammy Comer delivered her report. First, she thanked the council for sending her to the clerk’s institute, telling them that it was “very beneficial.” She then advised the council that as a result of SB160, which passed during the last legislative session, the workmen’s compensation rate would double next year. The town provides workmen’s comp insurance for the members of the Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department.

Councilwoman B.J. Bouray, delivering her report, told the council that “people have told us that our park looks good, so ‘thank you’ to Nick and Chuck.” Mayor Schwartz echoed that opinion.

Before closing the meeting, the mayor and council signed a “thank you” card to the Fairfield Lions Club for their support of the swimming pool.

The next meeting of the Fairfield Town Council is set for June 12, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the town office, next door to the Fairfield Sun Times on Central Avenue.